Last night I was standing outside Reposado’s and a man named Swanee came over to me and my friend with a bloodied face. He said it was his birthday today, he had turned 57 and he had gotten into a little fight in which another man hit him with a rock. His face was swollen with a sharp puncture wound from the edge of the rock. There were stains of blood and a raw spot where he had been hit, on the cheekbone. He asked me if it looked really bad, dabbing the drying blood away over and over again. I told him that it had stopped bleeding and it didn’t look so bad, but that he should clean it up with some rubbing alcohol as soon as possible. He shook my hand. I felt really sad. He told me that he was part native Indian. I told him nice jacket, and that he looked good. His brother Rick came and handed over a pair of glasses that he had been wiping clean, which Swanee put on after checking to see if they were broken, with a sombre and upset face. They seemed fine. Swanee borrowed light from us for his brother, and after recounting the episode on the bench in front of the bar while Rick smoked, they walked away. The way they quickly drew away into the dark and how profoundly sad I felt surprised me. I don’t know why. The night was chilly, and I was upset for a very long time.

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